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General Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach that are not covered in other Mechanic's Corner categories (ex. refrigerators, water heaters, and compressors).

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  #1  
Old 09-24-2013
Lee Davis's Avatar
Lee Davis Lee Davis is offline
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Default Zip Dee Upgrade

Earlier this spring I was in the Chicago area and wanted to run by Zip Dee and get the upgrade awning arm package ($179) so that my awning would be permanently attached at the top and make it easier to take in and out. Unfortunately they were so backed up there was no way they could get to me for several weeks. Now, they no longer do service work at all (probably reported on the Forum somewhere). they say they are just too busy manufacturing to do service work. I pointed out to Linda Johnson (the customer service lady) that I had always thought Zip Dee was a quality company and that in my experience quality manufacturers always did a great job servicing their products. Didn't even phase her at all.

Anyway, I was thinking about purchasing the "kit" to do it myself and was wondering if anyone on the Forum has had experience in doing that. She said you either have to unwind the spring, or break off the end of the part that attaches to the spring and then you would not have to unwind the spring. I couldn't tell what that meant without seeing what it looks like.


She did mention they did have dealers who serviced Zip Dee stuff, but generally they were unwilling to do the service if you bought the parts from Zip Dee and took them to someone who serviced them. She said the servicer normally wanted to order the parts themselves to do the work. (What's up with that? Probably a big upcharge on the parts).

Anyway I was wonder if anyone had done it themselves, what kind of job it is, and if so are they going to be at WOG to offer technical assistance if I decide to tackle the job.
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  #2  
Old 09-24-2013
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Lee, I had the mod done a couple of years ago and I'm very pleased with it. I didn't do the job myself, but I assisted and watched. It didn't look hard to do at all. Don't know why you have to unwind the spring, we didn't do that. The tabs that the braces used to fit into on the awning cover have to be snapped or cut off. I'd be glad to help you change them over.
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  #3  
Old 09-24-2013
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See?
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  #4  
Old 09-24-2013
George Roberts George Roberts is offline
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If that upgrade is only $179, I may look into it. I rarely use my big awning due to the trouble it is to get up and down. I figured it would get pretty easy if I wasn't so lazy, but there is that issue.

I do need to look at putting it out and leaving it out with straps and tie downs and supports etc.

Motivate me. $179 is helping.
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Old 09-24-2013
KingBiscuit KingBiscuit is offline
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This is not good news at all! I wanted to stop by Zip Dee and have them go over my awnings as well. My main awning didn't want to retract last time I used it.

Perhaps I can get some of the gurus to have a look at the WOG Rally.

Dan
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  #6  
Old 09-24-2013
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Lee:
I talked to ZipDee about the same upgrade. I asked if someone with an equal number of thumbs and fingers could reasonably do the job. The gentleman on the phone said that the only hard part was putting a "bend" in the new rails so they would fit properly. That left me a bit skittish so I did not order the parts.
I am also interested in someone who may have tackled the job.
I have not been to the factory but have always found the ZipDee folks helpful on the phone.
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Old 09-24-2013
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http://www.etstrailers.com/service_parts-p3510.asp

These folks replaced the arms on the big awning, Zipdee sent me to them. Convenient from I-90 just east of O'Hare.
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  #8  
Old 09-24-2013
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Anyone purchased the center rafter upgrade kit? comments??
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  #9  
Old 09-24-2013
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I can't speak for Zip Dee but most manufacturers charge full retail price for parts they sell directly to consumers; they don't want to undercut their dealers since that is where most of their business comes from.

Most shops don't want to install parts purchased elsewhere since they cannot control the quality of the parts and be responsible for parts that do not fit or work properly that they did not supply (plus parts are a major revenue source).

BTW, Zip Dee has a dealer with a good reputation in Kernersville NC (on I-40 between Greensboro and Winston Salem); Out of Doors Mart, 336-993-4518.
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Last edited by Labrador; 09-24-2013 at 03:50 PM. Reason: added dealer info
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  #10  
Old 09-24-2013
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Lee Davis Lee Davis is offline
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Default Zip Dee Parts

That may be true for many different parts which have all kinds of replacements from many different vendors but these parts can only come from Zip Dee, and it's pretty simple to tell if you have the right kit because they want your awning code whan you order.

So, I would price it out before getting the "installing dealer" to order it. I'm guessing there is about 2 hrs labor (probably $200) involved and I expect I am too cheap to get it done for a total cost of $400 when it works fine now even if there is some hassle involved. I am wrestling with the $179 plus freight just for the parts if I do it myyself.

So, I am still thinking about the idea, but thought some technical advice from someone who had done it might sway me into that course of action

Best,
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Lee and Jacque Davis - Full Timers

Lee - 423-292-5767 or Jacque 423-262-9569
or lnjdavis@gmail.com Please call or email instead of private messages


1995 BMC 37
300 HP Cummins 6CTA 8.3 Turbocharged Diesel
Boldly Going Nowhere
http://www.bbirdmaps.com/index.cfm #117
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